'Muscle Beach ambassador' dies

Sept. 8, 2006 at 9:16 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Deforrest "Moe" Most, dubbed "the ambassador for Muscle Beach," has died of heart failure in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 89.

Most, a gymnast and fitness guru noted for the ability to get others involved in the sport, gained fame with impromptu acrobatic shows at Santa Monica's Muscle Beach from the 1930s through the 1950s.

"Moe was one of the greatest athletes I've ever known," Jack LaLanne, a physical fitness pioneer who broke in on Muscle Beach, told The Los Angeles Times.

His son Stephen praised his father's "gentle and confidence-instilling enthusiasm," the Times said.

Most was responsible for staging Mr. and Miss Muscle Beach contests and many other competitions involving strength or gymnastic skills, serving as director until the beach closed in 1958.

The Times said Most died last Saturday of heart failure.

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